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Infant & Child Safety

Access Controls

An access-controlled area is an area in which only authorized persons are allowed. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Labor and Delivery, the Mother/Baby Unit, Pediatrics and the Emergency Department are some access-controlled areas of the hospital.

Take special precautions when entering these areas.

  • Do not use your badge to let visitors into access-controlled areas.
  • Do not use your badge to cut through access-controlled areas.
  • Exercise discretion and assure that nobody “tailgates” or “piggybacks” in behind you when entering access-controlled area. (Allow NO ONE to follow you when visiting access-controlled areas.)
  • Immediately notify security if any unauthorized person enters the area.

It is the responsibility of every employee and physicians to keep babies and children safe while at Hendrick at all times, but especially:

  • When transporting infants to and from the nursery
  • When entering controlled access areas
  • During infant or child abductions situations

During an Infant or Child Abduction

During an infant or child abduction, all physicians and employees should:

  • Halt traffic in and out of the area.
  • Conduct a complete search of the hospital interior and exterior, including stairwells, closets, elevators and parking lots.
  • Be alert to any person who may possibly be carrying or concealing an infant in a large bag.
  • Check items that might be used to conceal an infant including bags, packages, duffel bags, backpacks or parcels.
  • Immediately report any suspicious person to Security.
  • Exercise care not to alarm patients, employees or visitors.
  • Ensure patient confidentiality.
  • Monitor exits, elevators and stairwells–particularly on the first floor.
  • Record license plate numbers and get a complete description of any suspicious vehicle when outside of the hospital.

Be on the alert for unusual behavior, which may include:

  • Repeated visiting “just to see” or “hold” infants
  • Questioning concerning security devices, procedures and facility layout
  • Missing uniforms or employee ID badges
  • Physically carrying an infant in the corridor rather than transporting in rolling bassinet, as per unit policy
  • Carrying large packages off the unit

One of the most effective means of identifying a potential abductor is to use phrases such as:

  • “Who are you here to visit?”
  • “May I help you?”

When asking these questions:

  • Make eye contact.
  • Observe the person’s behavior.
  • Note the description of the individual.
  • Follow-up as appropriate.